We own 11 McDonald’s locations. Here’s why we’re staying open during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • David Costa Jr. and Racquel Ruiz are two McDonald’s franchisees, who own and operate 11 locations in Florida and California. 
  • They’re keeping their locations open to serve customers such as doctors, pharmacists, paramedics, and truck drivers who deliver the products the rest of us need.
  • The franchisees say they are also trying to help employees during the coronavirus pandemic, including offering resources such as grocery delivery options, meals, and educational resources for kids and working parents.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the authors.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As owners of local McDonalds’ restaurants in California and Florida, we know all too well that this is a trying time for everyone in communities across the country.  

During the best of times, as small business owners, we can play an important role in our communities: bringing people and families together. During difficult times it means we’re providing disaster recovery support through hot meals for first responders or serving as a meet up point for the Red Cross. Now more than ever, our role as employers and community members has become crucial, demanding more of us and our teams than ever before to ensure we can provide food to people who need it most.

For those who can’t stay home — doctors, pharmacists, paramedics, the people working three shifts to make masks and respirators, truck drivers who deliver the products the rest of us need — we’re staying open, so they can keep going. They are the ones on the front lines of our country’s response to COVID-19 and our restaurants are staying open through drive-thru, carry out and delivery, day and night, for them.

We do it because it is what is needed, and we are proud to join the countless Americans pulling together to play our part. Our customers have been thanking us for staying open and providing a sense of calm and comfort, like when we found a solution to serve truck drivers who were struggling to find places to stop for food.

But we can’t provide this service to our customers and communities without our amazing restaurant employees (our family) who continue to come in every day, ready to do this meaningful work.

As owners we care deeply about our employees – their economic security, their health and their overall wellness.

We are here to support them. That’s why we’re talking with them more frequently, both in person and via video chats and group texts. We’re regularly reviewing safety measures and providing other information resources useful for navigating this period of uncertainty.

Ensuring our employees are healthy and feel good about the procedures we have put in place to protect them and our customers remains of the utmost importance. That’s why we have taken significant precautions to protect them from COVID-19: closing many of our dine-in sections, closing all play areas, increasing cleanings and disinfecting procedures, encouraging frequent and proper hand washing, and encouraging the use of hand sanitizer. And through a combination of current state and local laws, the Families First Corona Response Act and our own existing policies, our employees and managers will be provided paid sick leave.  In addition, we’re providing them with resources to support other needs that may arise outside of work, including grocery delivery options, meals and educational resources for kids and working parents.

We will continue to follow guidance provided by the government and proper authorities on recommended policies and procedures, including the CDC, World Health Organization, and state and local authorities.

We are doing everything we can to keep our customers, employees and communities safe, healthy and happy. And like franchisees across the country, we will continue to play our role supporting our communities in need, such as organizing medical supply drives, and offering free Value Meals for hospital workers.

All of us who are part of the McDonalds family are eager for a return to normal.  In the meantime, our committed team members will continue providing reliable, great food, providing, we hope, a little bit of calm and comfort.  We are grateful and humbled to serve our communities, our employees and those who need us most.

If you’re a restaurant franchisee or worker with a story to share, email retail@businessinsider.com. 

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